KANSAS CITY -- Rangers manager Chris Woodward leaned back in his clubhouse office chair on Tuesday afternoon and he talked about identifying players who could eventually become key pieces as the club embarks on a journey that it hopes will take it to elite status sometime in the future.
Right-hander Ariel Jurado is one of those guys who is drawing the interest of the first-year skipper.
Jurado surrendered four unearned runs on Sunday against the Astros, who went 4-for-10 against him. But prior to that outing, Jurado had limited opposing hitters to a 3-for-26 worksheet in his first six Major League relief outings. Thus, Woodward said Jurado could be in line to make a start at some juncture.
"I think he will, actually," Woodward said. "And that might be his best role. If he can hold that stuff for 80 or 90 pitches, yeah. It's something we probably have to see at some point. There are some possibilities coming up that we might slot him in there."
Although there has been concern expressed about Rougned Odor being late on fastballs, the idea of using a lighter bat hasn't crossed his mind.
"I've always swung big bats," Odor said. "Even when I was 16 years old. It's not the bat."
Woodward said Odor's hitting struggles have been "more of a timing thing."
Woodward reiterated Odor continues to put in the work and is doing everything he can from a preparation standpoint.
"We all have to support him," Woodward said. "Put your arm around him and say, 'Keep fighting.'"
Whenever Hunter Pence comes to Kauffman Stadium, the memories of his 2014 World Series championship celebration in the visitor's clubhouse come rushing back.
Pence and the Giants won Game 7 of that World Series on the Royals' home field.
"There's definitely memories," Pence said. "If I was a poet, I'd have better words for you. It's one of the greatest satisfactions a baseball player can have. You think about all the hard work it took to get to that point. I'll cherish it forever."
These days, Pence is doing whatever he can to help the Rangers get on a path that could eventually take them where Pence was in 2014.
"I just give everything I can, no matter my age or my role," Pence said. "It's a great honor to be a part of Major League Baseball. So, I give it my all whether it's on the field or off the field."